Alan Kooi Davis

Alan Kooi Davis
The Ohio State University | OSU · College of Social Work

PhD
Assistant Professor of Social Work and Psychiatry at OSU; Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins.

About

124
Publications
79,239
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Introduction
My research interests include: Examining the acute and persisting effects of psychoactive substances. Understanding determinants of problematic patterns of substance use and associated harms. Investigating the individual and systemic barriers to addiction treatment retention and successful outcomes. Developing novel psychological and pharmacological interventions for people with substance use and psychiatric disorders.
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - present
The Ohio State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
August 2019 - present
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
September 2017 - July 2019
Johns Hopkins University
Position
  • PostDoc Position

Publications

Publications (124)
Article
Importance: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a substantial public health burden, but current treatments have limited effectiveness and adherence. Recent evidence suggests that 1 or 2 administrations of psilocybin with psychological support produces antidepressant effects in patients with cancer and in those with treatment-resistant depression. O...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Preliminary data suggest that psilocybin-assisted treatment produces substantial and rapid antidepressant effects in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), but little is known about long-term outcomes. Aims: This study sought to examine the efficacy and safety of psilocybin through 12 months in participants with moderate to seve...
Article
Full-text available
5‐methoxy‐N,N‐dimethyltryptamine (5‐MeO‐DMT) is a naturally occurring tryptamine that primarily acts as an agonist at the 5‐HT1A and 5‐HT2A receptors, whereby affinity for the 5‐HT1A subtype is highest. Subjective effects following 5‐MeO‐DMT administration include distortions in auditory and time perception, amplification of emotional states and fe...
Article
There is a need to understand ways in which Asians in North America attempt to heal from racial trauma, given their well-documented high risk of exposure and associated adverse mental health outcomes. We conducted a secondary analysis of Asians from a survey of people of color in North America who have consumed psychedelics in response to racial di...
Article
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Psychologists are a vital component of mental health treatment and their perceptions of psychedelic-assisted therapy are critical for future implementation. This cross-sectional quasi-experimental electronic survey study explored the attitudes about psychedelics used in treatment among 366 clinical psychologists in the United States. Participants e...
Article
Background Evidence points to an incongruence between international drug policy and expert opinion about safety, abuse potential, and therapeutic potential of specific drugs. However, no prior studies have directly explored psychiatrists’ attitudes about the current drug schedule. Therefore, we examined whether American psychiatrists’ perceptions o...
Article
Background and aims There is growing evidence that psilocybin, a serotonergic psychedelic substance, may be useful in the treatment of substance use disorders. However, there is a lack of data on the beliefs and attitudes towards psilocybin amongst Black individuals diagnosed with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). This study characterized psilocybin use p...
Article
Experiences of past and present oppression/discrimination towards Turtle Island’s Indigenous peoples are pervasive, contributing to symptoms of stress and trauma. Psychedelic substances have been shown to be effective for treating multiple disorders; however, there is a lack of research within Indigenous groups. This study examined the effects of n...
Article
Purpose: Alcohol use among adolescents and emerging adults is an important public health issue requiring prevention approaches. Herein, we describe outcomes from a randomized controlled trial testing the efficacy of group-based social media interventions targeting risky drinking among youth. Procedures: Using social media advertisements to scree...
Article
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"The lessons of cannabis should also remind us that the medical utility of psychedelics is surely limited to specific circumstances, a narrative often forgotten amid pervasive media promotion. Consequently, our goal should be to craft balanced policy that appropriately shapes societal mindset and setting to facilitate safe experiences for people us...
Article
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Research on acceptability of non-abstinence goals has focused primarily on addiction counsellors and lacks representation of clinical social workers (SWs). We examined whether acceptability of non-abstinence varied as a function of a client's severity of substance use disorder (SUD) diagnosis (severe vs. moderate), finality of an outcome goal (inte...
Article
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Background The current study is one of the first to examine race, ethnic, and sex differences in the prevalence of and trends in hallucinogen use among lifetime users in the United States. Methods Data came from the 2015–2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health and included respondent's reporting ever-using hallucinogens ( n = 41,060; female =...
Article
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Background Characteristics of both individuals and innovations are foundational determinants to the adoption of evidenced-based practices (EBPs). However, our understanding about what drives EBP adoption is limited by few studies examining relationships among implementation determinants and implementation outcomes through theory-driven hypothesis t...
Article
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a difficult to treat chronic pain condition for which there is strong interest in alternative treatments. There is growing interest in the potential of psychedelic substances (e.g., psilocybin) in conjunction with psychotherapy to treat chronic pain. Via a cross-sectional, anonymous , online survey, we aimed to characterize kno...
Article
Depression is highly prevalent and represents the leading cause of global disability and primary contributor to overall global burden of disease. Several lines of evidence from early-phase experimental trials suggest that serotonergic psychedelics, particularly psilocybin, with therapeutic support show great promise in the treatment of depression w...
Article
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Background & aims Special Operations Forces Veterans (SOFV) have unique treatment needs stemming from multiple repeated forms of combat exposure resulting in a complex sequela of problems including alcohol misuse and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Current approved pharmacologic treatments for alcohol misuse and PTSD are lacking in adherence and ef...
Article
Full-text available
Psilocybin has shown promise for the treatment of mood disorders, which are often accompanied by cognitive dysfunction including cognitive rigidity. Recent studies have proposed neuropsychoplastogenic effects as mechanisms underlying the enduring therapeutic effects of psilocybin. In an open-label study of 24 patients with major depressive disorder...
Article
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Trauma exposure across the lifespan produces risks for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, as well as global disability in functioning. This retrospective clinical chart review is the first of its kind to assess the utility of sublingual ketamine-assisted body-centered psychotherapy in trauma-exposed patients in a real world...
Article
Objective: Campus sexual assault (SA) prevention programs are widely implemented, despite few having strong empirical support. To inform the development and refinement of prevention programs, we collected pilot qualitative data to capture undergraduates' perspectives regarding desirable program characteristics. Participants: Undergraduates compl...
Article
Full-text available
Background Previous research showed acute psychedelic effects were associated with decreases in racial trauma (RT) symptoms among black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). Among samples comprised primarily of white participants, positive outcomes of psychedelic experiences have been mediated by increases in psychological flexibility. Therefor...
Article
Objective: Cannabis use is broadly associated with risky sexual behaviors, but evidence regarding how cannabis is related to condomless sex at the individual level is mixed. A better understanding of the context in which cannabis use is occurring, that is, why individuals are using cannabis on a particular day, could help clarify these relationshi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Mescaline is a naturally occurring psychoactive phenethylamine found in several cacti and historically used ceremonially by Indigenous and Latin American populations. Broader recognition of its possible therapeutic value in Western science began in the 1950s; however, knowledge of the safety profile of mescaline and the extent of its u...
Article
Mescaline is a naturally occurring psychoactive alkaloid that has been used as a sacrament by Indigenous populations in spiritual ritual and healing ceremonies for millennia. Despite promising early preliminary research and favorable anecdotal reports, there is limited research investigating mescaline’s psychotherapeutic potential. We administered...
Article
Psychedelic drugs are increasingly being incorporated into therapeutic contexts for the purposes of promoting mental health. Yet, they can also induce adverse reactions in some individuals, and it is difficult to predict pre-treatment who is likely to experience positive or adverse acute effects. Although consideration of setting, dosage, and exclu...
Article
A meaningful body of literature promotes greater exposure of social work students to educational content concerning substance misuse. This EndNotes piece identifies the rationale for social work programs to develop undergraduate minors and graduate concentrations in this area. We provide suggestions for social work educators and program administrat...
Article
To the Editor: On behalf of our coauthors, we regret to report that we have discovered calculation errors in some of the reported effects in our Original Investigation, “Effects of Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy on Major Depressive Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial,”1 that was published in JAMA Psychiatry on November 4, 2020. These calculation e...
Chapter
Research has shown the promise of psychedelics used as an adjunct to psychotherapy in the treatment of various mental health disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), treatment-resistant depression, and anxiety-related disorders (Barone et al., 2019; Carhart-Harris et al., 2018; Garcia-Romeu, Kersgaard, & Addy, 2016; Griffiths et...
Presentation
Background and Purpose: Problematic substance use is a global public health concern and one of the most stigmatized behaviors compared with other mental or physical problems. Despite high rates of substance use and related consequences, rates of treatment-seeking (e.g., help-seeking) remain low. Substance use-related stigma contributes to health in...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Several measures have been developed to examine acute psychedelic effects (e.g. mystical-type and challenging experiences), but no measure assesses acute psychologically insightful experiences that may occur during psychedelic experiences. Aim: The purpose of this study was to develop and examine the psychometric properties of the Psych...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined how psychedelics reduced symptoms of racial trauma among black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) subsequent to an experience of racism. A cross-sectional internet-based survey included questions about experiences with racism, mental health symptoms, and acute and enduring psychedelic effects. Changes in mental health were...
Preprint
After a two-decade hiatus in which research on psychedelics was essentially halted, placebo-controlled clinical trials of psychedelic-assisted therapy for mental health conditions have begun to be published. We identified nine randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials of psychedelic-assisted therapy published since 1994. Studies examined psilo...
Article
Full-text available
Background U.S. Special Operations Forces Veterans are at increased risk for a variety of mental health problems and cognitive impairment associated with military service. Current treatments are lacking in effectiveness and adherence. Therefore, this study examined psychedelic treatment with ibogaine and 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine for trauma-...
Article
Objective: Natural recovery and treatment outcome studies published over the past four decades indicate that some individuals with substance use problems moderate their consumption of alcohol and other drugs. Concurrently, a growing number of investigations have assessed service providers’ attitudes regarding non-abstinence goals. Method: To provid...
Article
Full-text available
After a two-decade hiatus in which research on psychedelics was essentially halted, placebo-controlled clinical trials of psychedelic-assisted therapy for mental health conditions have begun to be published. We identified nine randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials of psychedelic-assisted therapy published since 1994. Studies examined psilo...
Article
Full-text available
Background Experiences of having an encounter with seemingly autonomous entities are sometimes reported after inhaling N,N-dimethyltryptamine. Aim The study characterized the subjective phenomena, interpretation, and persisting changes that people attribute to N,N-dimethyltryptamine-occasioned entity encounter experiences. Methods Two thousand, f...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Previous research suggests a therapeutic potential of 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT). However, online anecdotal reports have described a phenomenon following cessation of the acute effects of 5-MeO-DMT use which has been termed reactivation (i.e., re-experiencing [“flashback”]). To date, no research has investigated whethe...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine is a psychotropic substance found in various plant and animal species and is synthetically produced. 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine is used in naturalistic settings for spiritual exploration, recreation, or to address negative affect and mood problems. However, scientific knowledge on the effects of 5-me...
Article
Research into the basic effects and therapeutic applications of psychedelic drugs has grown considerably in recent years. Yet, pressing questions remain regarding the substances’ lasting effects. Although individual studies have begun monitoring sustained changes, no study to-date has synthesized this information. Therefore, this systematic review...
Article
5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a potent, fast-acting psychedelic. Anecdotal reports from 5-MeO-DMT users suggest that they employ a variety of benefit enhancement (BE) strategies aimed to increase positive effects and decrease any potential challenging effects of the substance, but no empirical study has investigated this claim. We...
Article
Background: Identifying factors that can be targeted in intervention/prevention programs aimed at reducing marijuana (MJ)-related consequences is of critical concern due to the changing legislative landscape of MJ. The dualistic model of passion for MJ has indicated that two factors, obsessive passion (OP) and harmonious passion (HP), have unique e...
Article
Full-text available
Background Observational data and preliminary studies suggest serotonin 2A agonist psychedelics may hold potential in treating a variety of substance use disorders (SUDs), including opioid use disorder (OUD).AimsThe study aim was to describe and analyze self-reported cases in which naturalistic psychedelic use was followed by cessation or reduction...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific research on the therapeutic use of psychedelics has rapidly expanded over the past decade and, over the next decade, they may be approved for clinical use. Psychedelics have been used for centuries in ritual, community, and spiritual contexts and yet the potential for a scientific approach to these drugs has possibly never been greater t...
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: 5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a potent, short-acting psychedelic that produces strong hallucinogenic effects. The association between the context (i.e., set and setting) of 5-MeO-DMT use and the acute and enduring effects of the substance is unknown. Therefore, this study examined these associations using sec...
Article
Prior research has shown that acute subjective psychedelic effects are associated with both spontaneous and intended changes in depression and anxiety. Psychedelics are also theorized to produce increases in psychological flexibility, which could explain decreases in depression and anxiety following a psychedelic experience. Therefore, the present...
Poster
Full-text available
Aim: Passion for marijuana (MJ) use has been examined via a dualistic model: obsessive passion (OP; MJ conflicts with values and other activities) and harmonious passion (HP; MJ is important but not an overwhelming behavior), focusing on the unique effects of OP and HP on use/consequences. However, new research in the general passion literature sug...
Poster
Full-text available
5-MeO-DMT has unique pharmacology and a history of anecdotal human use suggesting potential psychotherapeutic utility. To empirically determine measures of safety and efficacy, controlled studies to support human clinical trials are necessary.
Poster
Full-text available
Background: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a prevalent condition that confers substantial public health burden. Current approved treatments, including pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, are limited in effectiveness and adherence. Recent evidence suggests that one or two administrations of psilocybin under psychologically supported conditions pr...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Meta-analysis of randomized studies using lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) for alcohol use disorder (AUD) showed large, significant effects for LSD efficacy compared to control conditions. Clinical studies suggest potential anti-addiction effects of LSD and mechanistically-related classic psychedelics for alcohol and other substance use...
Article
Full-text available
Naturally occurring and psychedelic drug–occasioned experiences interpreted as personal encounters with God are well described but have not been systematically compared. In this study, five groups of individuals participated in an online survey with detailed questions characterizing the subjective phenomena, interpretation, and persisting changes a...
Data
Questionnaire of naturally occurring (i.e. non-drug) God encounter experiences. (PDF)
Data
Supporting information tables A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, and J provide estimated means and standard errors of the estimate for data presented in the published manuscript in Tables 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, respectively. (PDF)
Data
Questionnaire of God encounter experiences occasioned by classic psychedelics. (PDF)
Article
Aim: Minority sexual orientation (i.e., Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual; LGB) is a risk indicator for mental health and substance use problems. Findings are inconsistent across studies investigating LGB substance use and risk factors, possibly due to heterogeneity in LGB subgroups. To inform models of substance use risk, we identified empirical patterns of...
Poster
Full-text available
The present study sought to examine factors associated with psychedelic-occasioned reductions in drug use to better understand possible mechanisms through which psychedelic use may exert such effects. Respondents (n=444; White=82%, male=79%, US resident=67%; cannabis users=37%; opioid users=35%; stimulant users=28%) self-identified as experiencing...
Presentation
Full-text available
Psychedelics are theorized to elicit changes in psychological flexibility and motivation to change (MTC), which could explain changes in alcohol/drug use following psychedelic experiences. Therefore, the present cross-sectional survey study sought to examine whether: psychological flexibility differed from before-to-after a single referent psychede...
Article
Marijuana (MJ) refusal self-efficacy and obsessive/harmonious passion for MJ use are associated with use and related consequences but have not been examined simultaneously. Better understanding of how these factors influence MJ use/consequences is critical for prevention/intervention efforts. We examined the relation among obsessive/harmonious pass...
Article
Background: Understanding factors influencing risky drinking among emerging adults could enhance interventions to reduce adverse outcomes. As a motivational construct, the dualistic model of passion (i.e., obsessive passion: drinking is compelling and conflicts with other life activities/values; harmonious passion: drinking is an important, but not...
Article
Aims: Alcohol-related blackouts can result in acute injuries and other negative outcomes. Among underage risky drinkers, we examined longitudinal trajectories of blackout frequency following an emergency department (ED) visit, and identified baseline characteristics associated with blackout trajectory membership. Methods: Participants (ages 14-2...
Poster
Full-text available
Background: N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a naturally occurring psychoactive indolealkylamine. Contemporarily, DMT is typically ingested via inhalation (e.g., smoking) and elicits powerful psychedelic effects with a rapid onset and short duration of action. Anecdotal reports of the acute subjective effects of DMT include having had an encounter w...
Article
Full-text available
5-MeO-DMT is a psychoactive substance found in high concentrations in the bufotoxin of the Colorado River Toad. Emerging evidence suggests that vaporized 5-MeO-DMT may occasion mystical experiences of comparable intensity to those occasioned by more widely studied psychedelics such as psilocybin, but no empirical study has tested this hypothesis. D...
Poster
Full-text available
5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a potent, short-acting psychedelic substance found in the natural world and is synthetically produced. Similar to those who use other psychedelic substances (e.g., MDMA, psilocybin), anecdotal reports of individuals who use 5-MeO-DMT suggest that they employ a variety of cognitive, social, and environ...
Poster
Full-text available
5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a psychoactive compound found in glandular secretions of Bufo alvarius toads and is synthesized. No human laboratory studies have been conducted, but evidence suggests 5-MeO-DMT may reduce depression and anxiety symptoms among those who use for spiritual or recreational reasons. Probing the effects of...
Poster
Full-text available
Most studies exploring treatment retention for people diagnosed with PTSD suggest that the average dropout rate is around 36%. One promising intervention that may help retain patients in trauma-focused care is incorporating a peer support (PS) specialist in treatment. However, despite advances in adopting PS in the Veteran’s Administration, relativ...
Poster
Full-text available
Background and Aims: A recent epidemiological survey suggested that 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) administration may decrease symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Further exploration of the potential psychotherapeutic benefit of 5-MeO-DMT could inform future clinical trials. Therefore, we examined self-reported PTSD amo...
Article
Background: A recent epidemiological study suggested that 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) used for spiritual and recreational reasons is associated with subjective improvement in depression and anxiety. Further exploration of the potential psychotherapeutic effects of 5-MeO-DMT could inform future clinical trials. Objectives: We exa...
Article
Individuals seeking substance use treatment who have one or more co-occurring mental health problems tend to have lower treatment engagement, higher rates of attrition, and poorer treatment outcomes. Readiness to change (RTC) is an integral construct in the recovery process, with higher RTC associated with improved treatment outcomes. However, the...
Poster
Full-text available
Aim: Minority sexual orientation (i.e., Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual; LGB) is a risk indicator for mental health and substance use problems, particularly among individuals from under-resourced urban communities. However, findings are inconsistent across studies investigating LGB substance use and risk factors, possibly due to heterogeneity in LGB subgrou...